US Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim said a rival snowboarder accidentally messaged her on Instagram and called her a ‘cocky a** b*tch’ following her victory at the 2018 Winter Games.
Kim, who was then 17, captured the world’s attention on the South Korean snowboarding course when she sent out a viral tweet saying, ‘I’m getting hangry,’ before delivering a show stopping performance.
The athlete became an immediate favorite of the games and continued to post viral tweets about how she wanted ice cream or other treats in the middle of the competition, which earned her some backlash from envious rivals.
Kim, now 21, said the glory came at a price as she suffocated under the stress of stardom, with the Instagram message serving as the final blow.
Chloe Kim, then 17, won the gold medal in women’s snowboarding in the 2018 games. The young athletes success and casual attitude garnered her attention and envy
Kim rose to fame as she tweeted during the 2018 games. Many believed her attitude to be lackadaisical and began attack her for her success
Kim is expected to win every contest she enters in and claim the gold at Beijing next year
‘I just felt like everyone is out to get me or something,’ Kim told the New York Times.
‘It’s definitely one of those things that I wish I didn’t see, but I’m also grateful,’ Kim said. ‘It definitely made me put my guard up a little more, which I think is OK. You can’t trust anyone.’
Kim, now a favorite to win Gold at the 2022 Beijing games, did not say who sent the message, only that it came from a top rival and that it was intended for someone else as they were badmouthing Kim behind her back.
The athlete added that the toxic atmosphere surrounding her success was not limited to the Instagram message as others hounded her and tried to take credit for her success.
The snowboarder took a hiatus from the sport following an ankle injury in 2019. Despite the long break, Kim returned to the top of the sport in 2021
And there were others who only wished for her to fail.
‘When I was 13 and I was up and coming and I was doing really well in events, it was like everyone was on my side,’ she told the NY Times.
‘Then after I won, the energy completely changed, and I was embarrassed to win contests. I knew that if I did well again, people would dump on me.’
After breaking her ankle in early 2019, Kim took a break from the sport and disappeared from the limelight.
She attended Princeton University, took up horse riding, began dating former pro skateboarder Evan Berle and co-founded a media commerce company called Togethxr to promote diversity and equality in sports.
After injuring her ankle in 2019, Kim took a 22-month break from snowboarding. She returned to the sport in January and claimed the number one spot yet again. Kim at the 2021 ESPYS awards
Although things were improving in her life, the pandemic came and disrupted her studies and she crew worried about her parents health.
Kim, a Korean-American, also feared for their safety due to the rising wave of violent anti-Asian hate crimes in the US in 2020.
The isolation brought on by the pandemic allowed Kim to reminisce about her life, including all the insults she had ever endured not just as a snowboarder, but as a person.
‘I started to get numb to it, and that’s a problem, right?’ Kim said. ‘I’ve recently started to realize that it’s not something that I should have ever had to get used to. It shouldn’t happen.’
After spending 22-months away from snowboarding, an unheard-of voluntary break for a top athlete, Kim returned to the top of the sport in January 2021.
In July, Kim won the X Games competition in California, and then later won the Snowboarding World Championships.
This week, she sets out on her Olympic season against international opponents at the Dew Tour in Copper Mountain, Colorado.
Kim is expected to win every contests she enters leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, as well as the games themselves in February.